Texas House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) on Thursday appointed members of the Texas House to 38 standing committees and three select committees for the 83rd Legislature.
Wise County’s representative, veteran Republican Phil King of Weatherford, was named to the House Committee on Energy Resources and the House Committee on Pensions.
“I am exceptionally pleased with these two opportunities,” King said in a prepared news release. “Energy production accounts for over one-fourth of the Texas economy and is an essential driver of our economy in the Barnett Shale area.
“The Pensions Committee oversees management and investment of some of the largest pension plans in the United States, some of which are experiencing difficulties right now. The Teacher Retirement System alone has over $110 billion in net assets, serving one of every 20 Texans.
“Both of these committees deal with extremely important topics facing Texas, and I am eager and honored to have the opportunity to get to work on these critical issues.”
Straus said he considered members’ individual expertise and strengths, along with demographics and geographic distribution, as he made the assignments – a crucial step as the House gets down to business in its biennial session.
“These appointments will allow every Member of the Texas House to make a meaningful contribution to the serious work of this legislative session,” he said.
In addition to the committees approved by Members in the House rules, Straus created three select committees: The Committee on Criminal Procedure Reform, the Committee on Federalism and Fiscal Responsibility, and the Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations.
Over the last several months, the second-term Speaker has highlighted a number of priorities that will fuel private-sector growth, including education, water, transportation and an improved capacity for manufacturing. He has also worked with members over the last year to make the state budget more transparent and accountable to taxpayers.
“All of the committee appointments highlight the House’s strong mix of experienced leaders and newer members who are ready to take on greater responsibility,” Straus said. “After traveling around the state to visit with members before the session and talking to them over the last few weeks, I am very encouraged that the House is ready to tackle the serious challenges our state faces.”
Next Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 11-12, are Wise County Legislative Days in Austin, sponsored by the Bridgeport, Chico, Decatur, Paradise and Runaway Bay Alliance Chambers of Commerce.
After a reception Monday evening with senators and representatives, there will be a breakfast the following morning with King and Wise County’s State Senator Craig Estes. A couple of dozen city and county leaders are expected to attend.